Polish Easter Caramel Tart (Mazurek)

Wielkanocny Mazurek Kajmakowy

This Polish Caramel Tart is a show-stopper – there’s no denying that. Beautiful nutty & fruity decorations, rich caramel cream filling, and a crispy, buttery shortcrust pastry make for a dessert that’s 100 percent worthy of any Easter table. 

But the best part? Your guests will be in awe of how fancy it looks, but they’ll never know just how easy it is to make.

For the full list of ingredients & detailed instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post. But before you scroll, there’s important stuff to know below.

In Poland, ‘Mazurek’ (pron. ‘ma-zoo-reck’) is a general term for all shortcrust tarts, baked especially for Easter.

Mazurek can be prepared with a variety of fillings, often with nutty cream (walnut, almond, hazelnut), or – just like in this recipe here – with kajmak (Polish-style caramel cream)

What makes this tart extra-special is the elaborate, festive decoration. Every home cook embellishes Mazurek differently, with their own design: may it be with nuts (whole, sliced or chopped), dried fruit, candied fruit, icing, melted chocolate… sky’s the limit.

Do you need any special ingredients or equipment to make this Caramel Mazurek?

Most of the ingredients should be easily available in any larger supermarket – all but one.

You’ll need a can of Kajmak – Polish-style caramel cream.

🇵🇱 In Poland, ready-made Kajmak cream is sold in cans – usually sized at 14-16 oz (400-450 ml). Jars and plastic tubs are far less common. It’s available literally everywhere – head to the baking section of the store.

Polish kajmak caramel - ready-made, Polish brands

🌍 Internationally, substitutes are available. South American-style ‘Dulce de leche’ is a very good replacement for Kajmak. Flavour-wise, they’re nearly the same.

In the UK, get Nestlé’s ‘Carnation Caramel’ from the baking section. French ‘Confiture de Lait’ is a similar dairy product, but its texture is much looser.

Polish Kajmak substitutes

You can also make a homemade Kajmak, all you need is a can of sweetened concentrated milk.

Equipment-wise, you can use a tart pan of any shape. Alternatively – cut out a chosen shape yourself, with a knife, and bake it on a regular baking tray.

How to make this Polish Caramel Tart?

Step 1

Sift the flour onto your work surface. Chop it together with butter, until the texture turns crumbly.

Chopping butter and flour for shortcrust

Step 2

Add in 3 yolks and a pinch of salt; fold them in. Start kneading everything together.

Flour, Icing sugar and raw egg yolk on the work surface, ready to be kneaded into a shortcrust pastry.

Step 3

Form a ball and cover it with cling film. Chill in the fridge for 30-60 minutes.

Raw shortcrust pastry wrapped in cling film, ready to be chilled

Step 4

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough. Place it gently into the mold. Decorate the edges with the excess dough.

Bake at 390°F (200°C) for 20 minutes until light-golden. Once cooled, cover with kajmak and decorate.

shortcrust pastry

What could you serve with this Polish Caramel Tart?

As a Polish Easter dessert, this ‘Mazurek Kajmakowy’ is often served alongside other celebratory desserts such as: yeast-based Easter Babka, ‘Sand cake’ Babka, Pascha (dessert made with Twaróg cheese), and Sernik (Cheesecake). 

It pairs beautifully with hot beverages such as tea or coffee.

Can you make this Easter Tart another way?

Not really, that’s a traditional way to bake it. 

As I mentioned before, the decoration is completely up to you – you could try nuts (whole or sliced), dried fruit, icing, melted chocolate, fudge candy, candied fruit or orange peel, marshmallows, sprinkles, small chocolate eggs, edible flowers… options are endless.

What diets is this Caramel Mazurek suitable for?

This Tart is fine for a traditional diet. If you’re avoiding sugar, gluten, nuts or dairy – sorry, this recipe isn’t for you.

Can I freeze this Caramel Tart?

Leftovers can be frozen, but storing it in the freezer (without messing up the decoration) may prove difficult.

To speed up the baking process, we can prep the shortcrust pastry in advance (and then freeze it raw). Just wrap it in cling film and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw, leave it at room temperature overnight.

Smacznego!

Mazurek Kajmakowy -Polish Easter Caramel Tart
Caramel Mazurek Tart

Mazurek Kajmakowy: Polish-style Easter Caramel Tart

Yield: 20
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Transport yourself straight to Poland this Easter with this delightful Caramel Tart recipe.

Just like with all Polonist recipes, I encourage you to weigh the ingredients instead of measuring them by volume, with cups.

Ingredients

Shortcrust pastry:

  • 2.5 cups (300 g) flour
  • 2 sticks (200-220 g) butter
  • 1 cup (100 g) powdered / icing sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • Pinch of salt

Caramel Cream filling:

  • 1 can (400-450 g; 14-16oz) Polish kajmak; substitutes in notes

For decoration (choose your own):

  • Nuts (whole, sliced), dried fruit, icing, melted chocolate, fudge candy, candied fruit or orange peel, marshmallows, sprinkles, small chocolate eggs, edible flowers

Instructions

  1. Sift the flour onto your work surface.
  2. Add in cold butter on top, and start chopping it on the flour. The mass will start changing into a crumble, as you chop.
  3. Add in 3 yolks and a pinch of salt; fold them in.
  4. Start kneading everything together, I do so by hand. 
  5. When the dough becomes smooth, form a ball and cover it with cling film.
  6. Chill in the fridge for at least 30-60 minutes (you can do so overnight, if you’re planning to bake the next day).
  7. Grease the mold / tart pan with butter (size 14x10 inch / 35x25 cm works well), line with baking paper.
  8. Take dough out of the fridge. 
  9. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out then place gently into the mold. You can do this by flouring a rolling pan and rolling the dough loosely around it, then unrolling it into the pan. Fill any gaps with some more dough, just patch it up. Using a sharp knife, trim the edges of the pastry to fit the tart pan. Keep the excess dough.
  10. Using the remaining dough, form a braid or a thin snake and stick it around the tart's edges as a decoration.
  11. Bake at 390°F (200°C) for 20 minutes until light-golden. The shortcrust will be flat, and that’s how it should be.
  12. Once the time is up, remove the shortcrust base from the oven and let it cool down completely.
  13. Open the can of Kajmak and spread all of its contents on top, making sure kajmak is distributed evenly.
  14. Decorate Mazurek with nuts, icing, little chocolate balls, marshmallows, dried fruit - go crazy!

Notes

  • Polish kajmak can be substituted with ‘dulce de leche’ or caramel from the can. You can make your own at home, here’s a recipe.
  • Shortcrust pastry recipe comes from the Polish author and culinary personality Robert Makłowicz (link to youtube in Polish).

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 134Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 74mgSodium: 41mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 1gSugar: 19gProtein: 2g

Save this “Polish Caramel Tart” recipe to your “POLISH DESSERTS” Pinterest board! And let’s be friends on Pinterest!

Kasia Kronenberger

Kasia Kronenberger is the founder of Polonist, where she celebrates Poland’s very best food.
She’s a self-taught home cook, who – through her own culinary attempts – wants to show you how to recreate Polish flavours at home, wherever that is.
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